[2411.AB] Resolution to Restore Regional Accountability

Greetings to the Assembly.

Presented below is a resolution meant to clarify the provisions of amnesty and the responsibility of the perpetrators as it relates to the 2016 coup. Cowritten by @KrisKringle and @Welly.

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Full support.

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Is this a bill of attainder?

No. No judicial process is automatically initiated or concluded because of this resolution.


No. Just to elaborate a bit on what has been said above, a bill of attainder requires a legislative determination that an individual or group is guilty of a criminal offense. In other words, trial by legislature. This resolution does not find anyone guilty of anything. It simply repeals the Amnesty Resolution, meaning that individuals who supported the coup “are responsible for their statements, actions, or omissions” to the same extent as if the Amnesty were never passed. Determining whether any of those statements, actions, or omissions amount to a criminal offense remains the exclusive province of the High Court.

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I think this is complete nonsense, on both legal and political grounds. Whats worse, it’s dangerous nonsense.

To start with, Kris’ recent assertion that the Assembly Resolution to Restore the Coalition of the South Pacific was repealed is just that - an assertion - with no legal basis whatsoever. His assertion is currently subject to a case in the High Court, which may or may not sustain it but acting as if this is fact is grossly premature.

More broadly, this is very clearly written with reference to an active Court case and on the basis of seeking to invalidate a potential ruling if the Court finds in a manner that the authors don’t agree with. The problem with that is the Court can’t do it’s job if people try to amend the law under review during a case, as it throws the whole matter into confusion. And in this case - and I cannot emphasise this enough - the Court has not actually issued a ruling and no one (outside of Griffindor and myself) knows what the ruling is going to be. It’s still being drafted.

If people really want to go down this kind of avenue we might as well just abolish the Court, because if instead of waiting for a ruling people are going to start changing the law to meet their desired outcome of a case there is no point in having a Court.

I’m genuinely shocked that the Chief Justice would be involved in bringing something like this forward, actively undermining the Court he leads.

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If the Assembly, as our supreme legislative body, declares that the resolution was repealed then it was repealed. It wouldn’t be an assertion anymore.

I do worry, however, about the implication of your own claim that this has “no legal basis whatsoever” and whether this is what we should anticipate from the Court’s opinion.

I don’t think anything is being undermined by this bill. Our government is structured with three coequal branches of government, and while the Court should indeed be allowed to manage cases as it sees fit nothing prevents the Assembly from taking steps to address issues that arise over time.

In this particular case the Court still has the sole authority to hear Siberian Districts’ appeal and in all likelihood it will issue its opinion long before this bill even goes to vote, so there should be no effect over the ongoing judicial process. The fact remains however that the amnesty was the wrong course of action since it has allowed individuals who tried to overthrow the government to retain citizenship in our region, and that is something that should not remain in our books.

I think you miss just how revolutionary - and dangerous - this proposal is.

Repealing the Assembly Resolution to Restore the Coalition of the South Pacific would be one thing, but declaring that it was repealed eight years ago - effectively allowing the Assembly to retroactively change the law - is unprecedented.

It also would have the effect of the Assembly legislating into force a particular interpretation of the law - in this case, your own belief that the ARRCSP was revoked in 2016 - outside of the established process of judicial review and legal interpretation. At present this is a theory of yours, newly revealed to the region in the Siberian Districts appeal via an amicus brief, but with no greater legal weight than any other opinion. This bill seeks to legislate your legal opinion into fact rather than allowing it to be tested in the Courts, as per the charter.

Far from respecting the separation of powers this would greatly undermine it.

I'm not missing anything, I just disagree with your interpretation. It is a fact that there was such a thing as the Continuing Resolution and that its primary provision was to repeal all laws in force at the time, which clearly included the Resolution to Restore. It is the prerogative of the Assembly, as the region's supreme legislative body, to affirm its previous actions.

If it’s such an issue then I honestly don’t care about changing the provision to a contemporary repeal of the amnesty as long the end result is that the amnesty is gone. It was a bad and dangerous decision then and it continues to be one now.

There is no point in having a Court. Congrats on identifying why.

I wouldn’t go that far. This is a government simulation and having a judiciary is a logical part of the simulation. Not everything has to be utilitarian.


So is having a legislature that can clarify its intent with actions, as well as allowing different other administrative actors to actually use their remit to make the decisions they’re tasked with.

Yes, Court abolition would be rather utilitarian. However, just because it’s a government simulation doesn’t mean every part of the government can or should be simulated. Rather, there does need to be a utilitarian justification for retaining different government functions.

My snarky quip about the long-term of the High Court aside, I agree with your original point that this bill isn’t some sort of “attack” on the Court or its ability to rule on questions. The power to pass and repeal laws, as well as pass legislation clarifying what those decisions mean/meant as relevant and how they should be enforced, is self-evidently in the Assembly’s prerogative and can exist alongside the High Court’s prerogative to legal interpretation.

Despite Belschaft’s handwaving about separation of powers, his solution is actually worse for separation of powers because it means once a case has been submitted to the High Court, the question under review becomes functionally ineligible for legislation. That interpretation of separation of powers, if accepted as a norm, would both take significant authority away from the Assembly and allow one individual to hijack the entire regional process by simply submitting a case and then holding a question in limbo while we all wait overly deferentially for the Court to look at it.

I mean, speaking in openly selfish terms I just like having the option of a judiciary in our government system. It’s just fun, so obviously I would support keeping it.

From a more utilitarian perspective, while frustrating at times it does benefit us to have an institution relatively removed from day-to-day politics whose judgements we can accept, even in times of political tension. Sometimes the Assembly is just not the right venue to handle certain issues, and that’s alright.


I don’t think that the Court’s judgements are ones we are always super hunky-dory to accept in the presence of political tension. Honestly, probably less-so than the Assembly giving up or down votes on core questions.

Justices as individuals, and the Court as an institution, are as much politically motivated actors as other institutions that could rule on or handle questions that are submitted to the Court. Simply having an additional set of people to rule on the questions doesn’t resolve that fundamental problem.

I thought this topic was about a proposed resolution?

We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. I think there’s a benefit in having an institution with individuals whose primary role is to interpret the law without (in principle at least) particular interests guided by partisan or majoritarian considerations.

That being said, my first point stands that I just find it a fun exercise, so I’ll continue to support having a judiciary.

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Belschaft argued this proposed resolution is some kind of omen of destruction for the High Court and will decimate the separation of powers.

He’s wrong about that, but if he is right, the inherent value of the judiciary itself and of rigidly separated powers more broadly is an exceedingly relevant topic :slight_smile:

In light of the debate thus far and further consideration of the original amnesty resolution, we have prepared a revised draft of this resolution.

I don’t know exactly why, but I think it would be appropriate to mention repealing clause 2 of Section B, since 1 is about the Great Council.
“1. A Great Council shall be convened as soon as 7 days and no later than 30 days after a new Cabinet is elected, with a mandate to completely revise all laws of the Coalition.”
Other than that, full support.